Hands-On Review:Musician.com Recommended Reading


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Musician.com Recommended Reading

 

Sound Designs
By Reinhold Banek and Jon Scouille (Ten Speed Press, 1995) $11.95

 

Here's one you don't see everyday. Note, first of all, that the title is a play on words: This isn't a book on the profession of sound design (i.e., Foley and effects work) - it teaches how to build instruments. Your handyman skills will be put to the test but the clear diagrams and very plain-speaking text in this cool little book won't leave you lost at the hardware store. Banek and Scouille help you turn easily found materials into real, usable instruments. Make a whistle from a length of garden hose. Make a copper maraca from a toilet bowl's tank float. Make a lot of noise with homemade boo bats, bull-roarers and balimbafons so that the next time you're looking for innovative sounds you can tap into a bank of samples created from instruments you've built yourself.

 

The Basic Series
(Sanctuary Publishing, Ltd.) $9.95 each

 

This handy series demystifies audio technology with uncommon clarity and simplicity. Published in the U.K., the toughest thing about the Basic books is getting used to the spelling of words like "equalisers" and "analogue." As the title implies, these books do not get into the minutiae, but series author Paul White is expert at boiling down complex tech-speak and quickly elevates the reader's knowledge far beyond a "basic" level. Titles include Effects & Processors, Digital Recording, Home Studio Design, Live Sound, Mastering, Microphones, MIDI, Mixers, Multitracking, and Mixing Techniques. Some are difficult to find. See www.sanctuarypublishing.com for info.

 

Guitar Identification
by A.R. Duchossoir (Hal Leonard Corp., 1999) $7.95

 

A reliable and indespensible reference for identifying, dating, and pricing guitars made by Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, and Martin. With Guitar Identification in hand, vintage buyers and guitar-show enthusiasts can trace models, years built, and structural details from a guitar's serial number. In addition to dozens of charts and descriptive text, over 150 illustrations show where serial numbers can be found and what they mean.